Feb 222010

“I tried to let you know I’m fine…”

Covers, Songs, Videos Comments Off on “I tried to let you know I’m fine…”

Here’s a sweet little video.  Ken Stringfellow (producer and musician extraordinaire, formerly of the Posies, R.E.M, Big Star, the Minus Five, etc.) covers The Long Winters’ “It’ll Be a Breeze” on a bench in Vienna:

Absolutely perfect.

Feb 202010

Sasquatch! Festival 2010 Lineup Announced

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Great news which I’m a few days late in reporting, the lineup for this years Sasquatch! Festival has been announced.  Hooray!  The festival will, as always, be held over memorial day weekend.  The music will go from Saturday, May 29th through Monday, May 31st.  The lineup is pretty impressive, as always.

Some highlights for me personally include Pavement, Massive Attack, The Long Winters, The New Pornographers, The Mountain Goats, Vampire Weekend, MGMT, Camera Obscura, The Hold Steady, She & Him, and Nada Surf.  If that list alone isn’t enough to make you want to get tickets, then there’s plenty more awesome bands where that came from.  Presale tickets are available through the weekend and run $170 for all three days of the festival.

Feb 092010

I’ve been fairly obsessed lately with a Los Angeles-based Synthpop duo called The Bird and the Bee. They craft some absolutely perfect little pop gems. Case in point, this tune off of their 2009 album Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future.  It’s called “Love Letter to Japan” and it’s a dozen different sorts of groovy:

Feb 072010

“You need a little time to wake up”

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I was listening to Oasis’ great (What’s the Story) Morning Glory album this weekend with some friends while driving down a bunch of back highways.  A perfect soundtrack for an awesome weekend.  I’m sure I’ve posted this tune before, but here’s a great live version of the title track off the album:

Feb 022010

A. A. Bondy @ the Blvd., 2010.1.25

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First of all, I’d like to go on record as saying that I really like the new Blvd. While it may not be a return to the glory days of the B-Side or the old Fat Tuesdays, it is a great addition to the Spokane music scene.  It’s also a damn sight better than the old Blvd, which was basically a lame dive bar that just happened to have bands most weekends.

The new Blvd is a fairly nice, professional, all-ages venue in the old B-Side building (230 W Riverside).  It’s got good acoustics and professional, friendly staff.  It’s also got a good sound system, and a clear floor that runs right up to the stage.  The show last Monday was a fairly low-key affair.  The turn out was decent, though hardly the sold out crowd I was expecting.

The opener, a local folk artist named Karli Fairbanks (MySpace, web site), was a pleasant surprise.  Her guitar work was much better than most folk artists.  It clean and strong, with unique melodic voicing and worked well with her singing.  Her vocals were also excellent, if stylistically unoriginal (she used the soft, light-vibrato voice that’s been used by so many female folk artists that it’s hard to recall who first pioneered it).  All in all, I’d be very inclined to see her again.  If you’re a Spokane folk-fan, definitely make an effort to get out and see her.

The next act was a country artist named Willy Mason (MySpace).  How he managed to fly under my radar for so long is unclear to me, but I was very impressed with his set.  He’s got a much more classic, folk-influenced voice than most modern country artists.  Put a drum kit and some synthesizers behind him and some Pitchfork twerp would be claiming that “he’s no Jeff Tweedy”.  Which is fair insofar that he does sound much more like a stripped down Uncle Tupelo than he does a stripped down Toby Keith.

A. A. Bondy (MySpace) and his band were, of course, phenomenal.  The trio included Bondy, a drummer/slide guitar player, and a bassist/keyboardist.  They were professional almost to a fault (other than thanking the crowd for applause, they didn’t seem interested in interacting with the audience.)  They played a solid set of material taken from both of Bondy’s albums.  They played with a great deal of energy, and played enough with the form of the songs that they seemed both fresh and familiar at the same time.  Highlights of the set included great versions of “O The Vampyre” and “A Slow Parade”.  The only tunes they didn’t play that I wished they had were “How Will You Meet Your End”, “American Hearts”, and Bondy’s cover of “John the Revelator.”

The show was truly an excellent one.  A great venue hosting some amazing talent.  The openers were amazing, and I will be definitely purchasing their albums as soon as I can lay my hot little hands on them.  Bondy continues to impress and I look forward both to seeing him in concert again and to whatever new music he turns out next.